INDIANAPOLIS — The Hoosier State lays claim to three U.S. Presidents, according to the Indiana State Museum.
William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Harrison all have ties to Indiana. William Henry Harrison — the ninth U.S. president — was the first Hoosier to hold the highest office in the country.
Before he was elected as president in 1840, William Henry Harrison was Secretary of the Northwest Territory, according to the White House Historical Association. He helped create boundaries for the Northwest and Indiana Territories during his time in the role. William Henry Harrison went on to become governor of the Indiana Territory, per the White House Historical Association.
William Henry Harrison was nominated for president by the Whig Party. According to the Indiana State Museum, William Henry Harrison crafted the first “modern presidential campaign,” using slogans and songs. William Henry Harrison also released campaign plates featuring a log cabin.
William Henry Harrison’s most famous slogan was “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” giving a nod his victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.
While he was governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison led approximately 1,000 soldiers to fight Native American warriors along the banks of what is now known as the Tippecanoe River, per American Battlefield Trust.
The conflict was the spurred by the 1809 Treaty of Fort Wayne, which required Native Americans to sell three million acres of land to the U.S. Government. At the time, William Henry Harrison —who was also the “Superintendent of Indian Affairs” — and his constituents were attempting to expand the Indiana Territories, according to the National Library of Medicine.
21 years after William Henry Harrison was elected, Abraham Lincoln became the nation’s 16th president. According to the Indiana State Museum, Lincoln spent 14 years of his life living in Spencer County, Indiana.
The Lincoln family left Indiana for Illinois in 1830, where Abraham then began to rise to prominence in law and politics. According to Visit Indiana, Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died and was buried in Indiana.
The Indiana State Museum reported that Nancy Hanks Lincoln died by drinking poisonous milk. Lincoln’s father, Thomas Lincoln, remarried Sarah Johnson while living in the Hoosier State, per the Indiana State Museum.
Benjamin Harrison became the 23rd president of the U.S. in 1889. He was the grandson of William Henry Harrison.
According to the Indiana State Museum, Benjamin Harrison spent his early life in Ohio but moved to Indianapolis as an adult. He practiced law in the Hoosier State from 1881 to 1887.
Benjamin Harrison earned a Republican presidential nomination in 1888. He did so because he lost his seat in the U.S. Senate because of a change in the Indiana General Assembly, according to the Indiana State Museum.
No Hoosiers have become president since Benjamin Harrison left office in 1893 — though a few have made notable runs at the White House.
Per IN.gov, Wendell Willkie earned the Republican presidential nomination in 1940, running unsuccessfully against Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
More recently, Mike Pence started a 2024 presidential campaign, but his attempt fizzled out in October.
The Indiana State Museum reported that six vice presidents have come from the Hoosier State, counting Pence. Thomas Marshall (1913-21), Charles Fairbanks (1905-09), Thomas Hendricks (1885), Schuyler Colfax (1869-73), Dan Quayle (1989-93) and Mike Pence (2017-21) served under Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, George H. W. Bush and Donald Trump, respectively.